Press Release

For Immediate Release
Update #3, 7/22/2018, 10:00 p.m.


Hot Zone Has Been Reduced, Traffic Flow Has Begun To Normalize

Nine Buildings – Twelve Addresses – Have Been Cleared for Re-Occupancy

Public Briefings for Residents, Business Owners, and Building Managers Scheduled

July 22, 2018 – The City’s Emergency Management Department continues to coordinate the interagency response to the steam main explosion that occurred in Manhattan at West 21st Street and 5th Avenue on Thursday, July 19. City agencies continue to operate in the area, including the FDNY, NYPD, and the Departments of Environmental Protection, Buildings, Health and Mental Hygiene, Department of Transportation and Emergency Management. Con Edison and the American Red Cross in Greater NY are also coordinating response operations.

The following is an update of the City’s response to the affected area:


  • 18th, 19th, and 22nd Streets are now open
  • 5th Ave between 20th and 21st Street remains closed to all pedestrian and vehicular traffic – with the exception of MTA buses  
  • 5th Ave is now open to MTA buses
    • Buses are bypassing all stops between 18th and 23rd Streets along 5th Avenue


City agencies are working diligently to clean up debris and clear affected buildings for re-occupancy:

  • Nine buildings have been cleared for re-occupancy- 119 5th Avenue, 146 5th Avenue, 162 5th Avenue, 9 West 19th Street, 9 West 20th Street, 19 West 21st Street, 22 West 21st Street, 7 East 20th Street and11 West 19th Street (which includes 17 West 19th, 10 West 20th, and 16 West 20th)

Inspectors from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) continue to examine impacted buildings in the area. Building facades, roofs, and common areas are being inspected and tested for the presence of asbestos. Once a building is cleared for re-occupancy residents are asked to report any visible contamination from the steam pipe incident in your apartment, to Con Edison by visiting the 10 E 15th street reception center, or calling (212) 358 4565. 


A reception center for affected individuals remains open at the Clinton School at 10 East 15th Street until 8:00 p.m. tonight. The reception center will operate from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. This reception center is for information inquiries only and is currently staffed with representatives from the New York City Departments of Emergency Management and Health and Mental Hygiene along with Con Edison, the American Red Cross in Greater NY, ASPCA, and the Animal Care Center of NYC. Individuals who live or work within the potential affected area and need to retrieve needed medical supplies or pets should report to the reception center, where escorts will be coordinated if possible.

The reception center has assisted 123 individuals since Thursday, July 19.


A Community briefing will be held at the Clinton School, 10 E 15th Street, for those affected by the steam main explosion Representatives from responding agencies will be available to provide updates as operations continue throughout the week. Two briefings are currently scheduled for Monday, July 23:

  • 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. for buildings owners and affected businesses
  • 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for affected tenants


NYC Small Business Services (SBS) remains on the scene and continues to work with the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership to inform local businesses of business recovery services available – including business interruption insurance and compensation plans for damages.  Business owners may visit for FAQs on emergency services, or call 212-618-8810 for immediate help.


MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Silvestri/Justin Bennett (718) 422-4888

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